Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday explained more about the $200 million in budget cuts, including 1,400 layoffs, the Chicago Public Schools plans to implement following the $634 million teachers pension payment it made Tuesday.
While the Bond Buyer's Midwest Municipal Market Conference was being held Tuesday at the InterContinental Chicago hotel on Michigan Avenue, over a dozen Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) members and their allies protested outside the event this morning.
Holding signs reading, "CPS: Broke on Purpose," the education activists were there to highlight controversial financial deals the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has with banks and to call for fair-share revenue options to help tackle the school district's pressing fiscal issues.
Those at the protest, spearheaded by the Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE), marched in a circle chanting, "Fat cats profit and kids come last. Who pays taxes? The working class."
"There's been numerous long-term financial deals, bond deals, swap deals that have put CPS under a heavy burden of debt," explained CTU organizer Martin Ritter. "They've got bad financial advisers. Many of them are at this conference."
Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) is putting forward a state pension reform proposal that is a revamp of the one he proposed back in 2013, which had union support and offered pensioners a choice in their retirement benefits.